Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hopping Mad

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast. I want Jonathan Edwards, YES, THE Jonathan Edwards, to channel hellfire and brimstone down on Dick Cheney in tonight's debate. The trail lawyer may fare well, the Great Awakening Preacher would do best; it's time for the neoconservative spate of lies to be truly smashed tonight with a single relavatory speech that debunks everything Wolfowitz, Cheney, Feith, Libbey, and Rumsfeld stand for. How Condi Rice can look at her role in her "husband's" administration is beyond me. What is truly needed tonight is a spectacle so bloody, so purgative, so sacrificial, that Americans across the land all head for the nearest place of worship to atone for their sin of allowing these men to govern this nation and steer this world to such the precipice of disaster that we, as a nation, now teeter on. Last week, the nation and the world saw just what an inept, unprepared, un-curious George the president truly is. "It's hard!" whined the commander-in-thief, complaining that the world's most powerful office requires ability, skill, and an intellectual capacity to guide a nation with a vision. Of course it's hard, and it's why the nation's voters chose Al Gore for the position four years ago, and it's why I pray that Americans vote against you for a second time, in three weeks. John Kerry was a formidable debate opponent and in my opinion, one who stood for a vision, however nuanced, for the country other than one last seen sauntering toward the O.K. Corral, gun in hand, gleem in eye, swagger in step, and all ideas left behind. Maybe W. truly is the "Left Behind" president- a vision of apocalyse, moralistic right versus wrong, and yet one whose moral vision claims to come from an ancient holy text but is loaded with as much fiction as the Timothy LaHaye books that fly off the bookshelves at bookstores and Costco.
At any rate, the Bush spinsters have been terribly busy since last week's trouncing, now trying to scare the country into believing that a "Kerry Doctrine" would put executive decisions at the mercy of foreign leders and the world in harm's way. I'm sorry, but what, then, by default, has the true Bush Doctrine done for the nation? Kerry's brilliantly-delivered zinger, the Pottery Barn parable, describes the president's debacle in Iraq-no vision, no Plan-B efforts to stem any possible errors, and not the single thought of direction change when things go wrong. This perfectly describes the swath of destruction left behind every one of W.'s efforts for the last three years. The sweetest revenge with a Kerry victory, much better than lining up W. and his minions and shooting them all, would be the curse of each of his people to live long lives; long enough to see historians shred the policies, the lies, and ultimately the damage left from their bankrupt vision of world policy. November 2 can not come soon enough for me.

John Coltrane is one of my favorite musicians. To call the man brilliant is an understatement. To call his ability to create music visionary would fail to describe what Coltrane was: a saint. I'm not saying that the man was holy, perfect, or better than anyone else just because he had the ability to manipulate brass, wood, and plastic to make beatiful music. I call Coltrane a saint because the man pursued the face of God through his music; Coltrane attempted to talk with his Creator in a language beyond words and context. Beyond his masterpiece, A Love Supreme, coltrane further attempted to define the noise of God, and these attempts have been captured in the recordings of the man's last three years on earth. Recently, I stumbled onto another of Coltrane's meditations on the almighty, his recorded-in-1967-but-not-released-until-1974-gem, Interstellar Space. Coltrane speaks in tongues throughout his fifty-minute prayer, conjuring up emotions and thoughts that make one contemplate the heavens. Not the spiritual realm, but other planets in our solar system. The conversation he holds with these bodies is found in a five-song cycle of saxophone/drum cathartic explosions, each with its own attempt at recreating the vast cosmos within Coltrane's own mind. Challenging modular runs, "sheets of sound," sometimes a cacophony of notes, all, when added up and absorbed as a whole, speak clearly and mindfully that as one exists in the larger space of the universe, the inverse is truly and spiritually true just the same.

Bruce Springsteen spent much of 1980 learning about the nation as Walt Whitman saw it in the 1890s, 1995 and 1996 telling Seinbeck-esque tales of the common American, and is now spending his October in what many see as the completion of his journey: rallying Americans to participate in one major aspect of civic life, voting. It has been no secret that Springsteen can not stand the current administration; yet this week, Springsteen is currently using his buly pulpit to rally people behind an anti-democratic, anti-Bush platform. Headlining the Vote For Change Tour, Springsteen is nudging Americans to help see a greater reality, a brighter future, and a better country by getting involved and expressing thier voices. Granted, most people are attending these concerts strictly to see Bruce and the E Streeters jam with John Fogerty, and most of Bruce's words will be preached to a choir of thousands of fellow believers, but the bigger impact can only be seen if those in attendance hit their co-workers, their adult children, their friends, their neighbors, and their towns, with the message that voting truly speaks the hearts of Americans. Bruce is not a prophet, nor a political force to be reckoned with; yet he does qualify as a patriot who wants to see "d"emocratic forms of expression return to public discourse. I support him on that, and if that means that W. gets sent home to Crawford, Texas, then I support him even more. Bruce is doing what everyone patriot who stands out front of Safeway registering people to vote is doing, and that is crying out for people to be involved and to care. I can't fault anyone, of any political affiliation, who encourages and rallies the people to speak their minds. Will the tour matter? Probably not. It's the effort that citizens are speaking, and someone had better be listening. Whether heard now or not, the more people continue to speak, the louder their voices grow, and the more they continue to be ignored is when change will truly occur on a mass level. Boston 1773, Tiananmen 1989, Eastern Europe, 1990.

My son, William, is the most amazing person in the world. He's only been on earth for one month and yet he's changed the way I will see it for the rest of my life. I've slowed down, breathed deeper, looked around more, been happier, been more helpful, and more mindful of my own presence here since Will's arrival. I hope that I may be more of a friendlier, happier, better person not only to Will but to everyone. He's getting cuter, and more baby-like. The first month and babies are still little aliens to our world, and they do look as such. Will's now beginning to look like a little baby with full facial expressions and animation in his actions. Sure, he just lies there sleeping most of the time, but when he's awake and looking around, absorbing the world around him, he's the most fragile and wise person at the same time. Granted, he does look a bit like the vampire in F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 Nasferatu, but he's my little Max Shreck. Already having mastered French and the fundamentals of jazz, Will's next project is to tackle the issue of being able to sleep without his pacifier. More news at 11:00.

Going to catch John Scofield tomorrow night at Yoshi's. The next night, a total change of pace, I'll be dancing to Huey Lewis as he delivers his latest version of the News. Go, now, and listen to the Allman Brothers Band's latest album, One Way Out just to remind yourself that Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes are the two least-stoppable forces in rock guitar today.